As the world works to gain control over the coronavirus pandemic, all eyes have turned to leaders around the world for guidance. However, in April 2020, North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un was noticeably absent from office, sparking rumors about his health. While many media reported that Kim may have entered a “vegetative state” or died after a “failed” heart procedure, reports remain unconfirmed. To the contrary, South Korean officials have suggested that he is “alive and well,” adding to the uncertainty surrounding Kim’s state, according to The New York Times .
NBA legend Dennis Rodman, however, hopes that the rumors about his “friend for life” are not true. “I hope it’s just a rumor that quarterback Kim Jong Un is sick,” said the former Chicago Bulls star. TMZ Sports . “I hope to find out sooner.” After traveling to North Korea to meet Kim in 2013, Rodman struck up an unlikely friendship with the North Korean dictator, according to The Washington Post . Over the years, the Hall of Fame member has offered to strengthen the relationship between the United States and North Korea on multiple occasions and hopes he can try one more time if Kim reappears.
“There is still so much work that we have to do between the United States and [Democratic People’s Republic of Korea],” Rodman added. “If you don’t feel well, I pray for your speedy recovery, so that my two friends [President Trump & Marshal Kim] can continue towards peaceful success.”
Rodman’s ambition could prove surprisingly useful in today’s tumultuous global climate.
Dennis Rodman defended his unlikely friendship with Kim Jong Un
While North Korea’s Kim Jong Un has been hostile to western countries in the past, it grew with affection for the NBA and the Chicago Bulls, in particular. In 2013, Kim invited Dennis Rodman to Pyongyang, the capital of North Korea, and the two were instantly joined. However, while Rodman received tons of criticism for his unexpected relationship with the foreign dictator, the former NBA star continues to defend his friendship. In September 2019, Rodman Business Insider said that Kim “is not that kind of person you think people portrayed to be,” adding that he is “cool and quite personable.”
“If you sit down and talk to him at lunchtime and then shoot him, I think you’re going to say, ‘Well, this guy is cool and pretty nice,'” Rodman explained. “I think people need to understand, it’s like if you take some time off, if you can visit it and hang out and you will see people in North Korea who have certain shapes. You have to adapt, but that is the culture and the way of life. It is different, but it is interesting to see «.
In 2013, after his trip to North Korea, Rodman told ABC The Week (via Newsweek ): “He loves power. He loves control by his father and things like that, but he’s a great guy. It’s a strange dynamic, that’s for sure, but could their friendship inevitably help establish peace?
Dennis Rodman wants to facilitate peace between the United States and North Korea
Although President Donald Trump has engaged in peace talks with North Korean leader Kim Jon Un during the course of his presidential term, the two men have yet to reach an official agreement. However, according to Reuters , Rodman believes that Trump and Kim could reach an agreement, and that he would be more than eager to help.
“I think we need to stay on the right track to make it work. Therefore, I believe that people should not give up on the United States trying to engage with North Korea in a good and safe way, “said Rodman in 2019.” I think Kim Jong Un wants peace. I know him very well … People do not realize that they want to move towards the 21st century. I think he doesn’t want to give up on his country. I don’t blame him. »
Rodman believes in the potential for peace so strongly that he even wrote a letter to Trump offering help in any way he can. “We have a lot of work to do, but with its diverse team, incredible global contacts, and our willingness to think outside the box, we can have peace on the Korean peninsula.” We really can, ‘Rodman wrote in February 2019 (via USA Today )
He continued: «You are at the top of a great and beautiful business. One that would make you a favorite for a Nobel Peace Prize without a doubt. You have my support forever! »
Only time will tell if Rodman will have a chance to negotiate a deal.